Why Immigrants Voted For The Far Right in Germany (Hint: It’s Not Entirely The Kremlin’s Fault)

The far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is about to take up its seats in German parliament. How did we get here? Mainstream media in the West has been quick to point at the Kremlin as the source of the unprecedented number of votes for the far right. Indeed, the AfD has estimated that about one-third of its support comes from Russian-speaking voters. But should we really blame foreign countries and immigrant voters for the rise of the right? If we do so, we’ll be sure to miss the toxic role played by Germany’s own political elites. In fact, the Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) has done a great deal to form and to fan Russian-Germans’ right-wing leanings.

The CDU has long championed politics based on race and ethnocentrism. While Germany has earned a reputation as one of the most welcoming countries for refugees in recent years, in fact one of the most striking aspects of German migration policy eagerly targets not refugees, but ethnic Germans.

Should we really blame foreign countries and immigrant voters for the rise of the right?

Germany upholds what is called a “repatriation” policy, which makes it possible for ethnic Germans residing outside the state’s borders to move to Germany and claim citizenship. The policy targets ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union, known as “Russian-Germans,” who are 9th or 10th generation descendants of Germanic migrants who moved to the Russian Empire in the 1700s in search of a better life. Most of these Germanic migrants spoke old dialects and lived in compact farming communities on the Volga River until the 1940s, when they were deported to Siberia and Central Asia by Stalin. The Soviet elites suspected that they would collaborate with the Nazis and wanted to get them as far away as …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK politics

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